If your website currently enjoys a good position for search rankings then a well planned migration to ShopWired will result in the current rankings being maintained and, in some cases (depending on which platform you are migrating from) even improved.
You should however be aware that for the first few weeks after launching your ShopWired site, the rankings might be 'jumpy' and unsteady. This is normal and to be expected.
Recording your current rankings
Firstly, we'd recommend recording a good section (if not all) of your current search ranking positions on a spreadsheet with the date that you made the record.
When recording rankings it's essential that you do this through a 'private browser window' because search engines like Google actively promote websites in search results that you've previously clicked on (and therefore the search ranking position is artifically inflated).
We recommend using Google Chrome to record results - you can find details on how to use a private browser window at https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95464?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en.
List each keyword and its position (not counting sponsered adverts).
We also recommend taking a screenshot of important website pages (like the home page) where the page appears high in search results in case, after launching your new website, you need to refer back to it. If you're not familiar with taking screenshots you can use a Google Chrome Extension called Full Page Screen Capture to assist you.
Search engines like Google look at a very wide range of different factors when determining where a website page should appear in search results for a particular keyword.
The most important factors are onsite content (how much keyword rich content you have on your website's pages) and offsite links (how many external websites are linking to your website).
When migrating to ShopWired the offsite links to your website will continue to be present but it's imperative to ensure that these links do not land on a 404 after migration so you should plan and setup 301 redirects if any of the pages on your website have a new URL.
Your main focus should be on preserving content. For example, if your current website has content on the home page then you should have the same content on your new ShopWired website. Content position also matters, search engines place more weight on content that appears towards the top of the page than content that appears towards the bottom of the page so make sure the content sits in roughly the same position on the new website as it does on the old.
Other factors to look out for include:
- Site architecture (making sure the same pages are linked to in the same places)
- Site speed (check the loading time of the existing website and the new website on a tool like tools.pingdom.com)
- 'Technical SEO' (making sure the home page and all other site pages have properly formatted title tags and meta descriptions)
Whilst there are many other factors that search engines look at, these are (in our opinion) the most important factors to focus on.
After launching your website, make sure you generate an SSL certificate for your domain name by following the instructions here.
Whilst it might be tempting to check your search rankings in the first few days after launch, they will be at their most 'jumpy' stage so we don't recommend recording the results. Instead, we'd recommend waiting for 7 days post launch before taking a new record of the keyword positions.
We then recommend taking a record for the next three weeks (so you have four weeks in total) of search ranking positions after launch and then checking the original positions (before launch) with the results after four weeks. By this time, Google should have crawled all of the pages on your new website and the site will have properly 'bedded in' to Google.
If there's a problem
If you find that some keywords have gone down a position or two, this is definitely not something to worry about and there maybe a few small tweaks you can make to those pages to make the page appear higher in search results for those keywords. If you need assistance please contact us.
If you find after four weeks that the results are significantly down please contact us for assistance.